Known for its lack of support of web standards, as well as a seemingly countless number of security issues, IE6 may be the worst web browser ever created.
Yet it has also been resilient thanks in large part to the fact that it was the default browser shipped with Windows XP.
But the browser that can't die soon enough is finally dying.
Yesterday, Microsoft itself celebrated the fact that, according to Net Applications, IE6's market share in the United States has dropped below 1%.
Microsoft's Roger Capriottie explained:
IE6 has been the punch line of browser jokes for a while, and we’ve been as eager as anyone to see it go away. In fact, we launched the IE6 Countdown site last March to help accelerate the process. Less than a year later, I’m thrilled to say that the United States has joined the ranks of Austria, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway in dropping below 1% usage of IE6. In addition, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Ukraine, Portugal and the Philippines are also entering the Champions’ Circle. We hope this means more developers and IT Pros can consider IE6 a “low-priority” at this point and stop spending their time having to support such an outdated browser.
Sane web designers and developers certainly won't have a problem with that last sentence. IE6, put simply, has been the bane of their existence for years now. Its flaws and quirks were often painful to address, some times requiring IE6-specific stylesheets, but the browser's market share, particularly amongst corporate users stuck with Windows XP, made IE6 support a common client requirement.
With market share below 1% in arguably the world's most important internet market, some of the clients who have up to this point still respected IE6 will probably move on, preventing a countless number of headaches in the process.